Do you want to make a roast, a pie, or some delectable cookies?
Nevertheless, which pan should you use? Contrary to common perception, you should not grab for the first one you see.
Certain materials work well with certain kinds of food, while others do not.
Metal baking pans, for example, are ideal for baking cookies. Glass ones, on the other hand, are ideal for lasagnas and casseroles.
In this post, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both metal and glass baking pans, as well as which one is best for you.
Which Baking Pan Should You Use: Glass or Metal?
I wish I could have given you a more direct response, but both types of pans have pros and disadvantages.
The baking pan you choose will be determined by your heat transfer requirements.
While baking, there should be a seamless flow of heat from the air surrounding the pan. This includes its sides and naturally, the batter it is packed with.
When the pan and ingredients are sufficiently heated, leaveners activate, causing the dough to rise until it sets.
Thus, to answer your question:
- Metal baking pans, such as aluminum, are great at conducting heat. But these also cool down fast and easily as well. Use these pans if you want to heat up food quickly or when you want to bake sweet treats.
- Glass baking pans are not great at conducting heat, but once they get heated up, it retains the heat. This can be quite useful if you are making casseroles or braises. That’s because these need to remain as warm as possible when they are taken out.
Also read: Does Glass Pan Cook Faster Than Metal?
Let’s take a deeper look and learn about glass and metal baking pans.
When Is It OK to Use Glass Baking Pans?
While glass does not transfer heat effectively, it does disperse it evenly. As the temperature rises enough, it begins to warm slowly but steadily. It also stays warm for a long after you take it out of the oven.
This might come in handy while creating casseroles or braises. This is because they must stay as warm as possible when removed.
But, if you wish to broil food, avoid using glass baking pans since they may shatter. The same should be true for any dish that calls for a lot of heat. Direct heat from a burner is one such example. Although certain glass pans may be used in these circumstances, it is always best to be cautious than sorry.
Hence, if you’re making gravy on the stove, avoid using a glass pan. Otherwise, before preparing the sauce, you may need to move the contents of the pan to a pot. Do you really want to pile more dirty dishes in your sink than you need?
Of course, this does not rule out the possibility of using glass baking pans.
The following are some of the advantages of using a glass baking pan:
- It absorbs rather than reflect heat compared to metal. This allows the pan to speed up the cooking process. However, this is why you should turn down the temperature by 25° lower than the recommended temperature. Otherwise, your food may end up burning before you have the chance to enjoy it!
- You can watch your food cooking right in the clear baking pan.
- Once the pan cools down, you can pop it in the refrigerator without taking the food out first. That way, you won’t have to ruin the beautiful layers of lasagna you worked hard to put together.
- Since glass is chemically inert, the food you bake in it is safe from chemicals. This is a common hazard with plastic cookware and even some metallic ones, such as cast iron pans. Additionally, glass does not react with the food that is cooked in it.
Tips for Using Glass Baking Pans Safely
Glass-based baking pans, like any other, come with instructions and maintenance instructions that vary depending on the type.
These includes procedures to guarantee responsible usage and to avoid mishaps.
If you use glass baking pans, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Do not heat the pan higher than 350°F.
- If your glass is in the refrigerator, do not place it in a hot oven immediately. The drastic and fast change in temperature may shatter the glass otherwise.
- Do not place a cold glass pan on a wet or cold surface. Place it on a cooling rack or on a towel instead or the bottom may give out.
- Do not use the glass pan on a stove or in a toaster oven.
- Even if you empty the pan after taking it out of the oven, allow it to cool down before placing it in the sink or before soaking it.
- Do not scratch the glass pan with utensils. If it has a noticeable scratch or chip, it can expand and break your pan right inside the oven!
- Don’t place the pan into a cold oven. Allow it to heat up before doing so or you will end up with undercooked food.
- If you are baking vegetables in the pan, add some water or vegetable stock to it beforehand. This will prevent it from sticking.
- Even if your glass pan came with a plastic lid, use it for storage use only. If you need to cover the pan while it is in the oven, use tinfoil.
Cleaning Instructions for Glass Baking Pans
- Use non-scratch pads or a soft sponge to clean glass baking pans. Scratchy pads can damage it, which can lead to breakage. Remove tough crusted stains by soaking the fish in warm water first before scrubbing. This will loosen the crust and make the pan squeaky clean at the same time.
- Clean the pan with baking soda and dish soap to remove grease stains. Sprinkle the soda all over the bottom of the pan with a bit of the soap and soak it in warm water. Scrub with a sponge after 15 minutes.
When Is It OK to Use Metal Baking Pans?
Metal baking pans, such as aluminum, are excellent heat conductors. But, they also cool down quickly and easily. Use these pans if you want to swiftly heat up meals or bake sweet pastries.
Metal baking pans, unlike glass baking pans, are available in a variety of styles for both household and commercial usage.
Among them are the following:
Pans made of anodized aluminum
Anodized aluminum baking pans are non-reactive and have a light appearance. They’re also fantastic for getting a lovely bottom crust with no creases.
Rather from absorbing heat, the pan reflects it. Moreover, the unique aluminum maintains ideal baking temperatures for the ultimate cook.
There are two kinds of anodized aluminum pans available:
- Silver anodized pan: This aluminum pan is treated to make its outer surface hard and thus scratch/stick-resistant. The process also prevents the bakeware from peeling, rusting or blistering. It also allows it to conduct heat fast and evenly. So if you use it, you may have to reduce cooking time to ensure your food doesn’t burn.
- Hard anodized pan: Hard anodized bakeware is quite similar to the silver variety. The only difference is that it is treated for longer periods of time for a hard finish. That is why it is ten times thicker than other metal pans. These are darker so they can brown meat faster compared to lighter pans.
Nevertheless, just because these pans are scratch-resistant doesn’t imply you should use every tool on them.
Metal utensils, other than sharp blades, may be used on these pans without destroying them. Also, avoid using metal pans while cooking reactive foods like fruit.
This includes food that has to be kept warm before serving.
Pans Made of Stainless Steel
These pans are well-known for their long lifespan and versatility. Stainless steel pans, on the other hand, do not transmit heat effectively.
As a result, it is not suitable for baking cakes or roasts. It is most often used as a sheet pan for baking cookies.
In contrast to aluminum pans, they are dishwasher safe. Also, they may keep their luster even when handled harshly.
Related article: How to Season Stainless Steel Frying Pans (so it won't stick while cooking)
Silicone baking pans are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from muffin pans to loaf pans. They are notable for their nonstick properties.
In fact, no oil is required to make them nonstick. As a result, they are great for sticky-baked goods like cakes.
Moreover, silicone pans may be used in the microwave, freezer, and oven. This means you may bake in them and then store them in the oven or refrigerator as soon as they cool.
Silicone pans, on the other hand, might take some time to heat up. As a result, your baked goods may lack a nice, brown crust. Stick to light baked products if you use silicone pans.
Metal Baking Pan Cleaning Tips
- Do not soak your metal bakeware overnight to get rid of stubborn burnt food. It may get discolored otherwise.
- To remove discoloration, fill the pan with water, one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of cream of tartar. Then simmer it on the stove till the discoloration is gone. Take the pan off the stove and allow it to cool down. Then use stool wool to remove the crusty bits.
- Use baking soda and a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner along with a scouring pad. This technique will work in a pinch.
- If all else fails, use bleach but make sure you use safety precautions. It may not be your first choice. However, it may be the best solution to eliminate stubborn grease and food stains.
So that’s all you need to know about selecting a baking pan. I hope this provides you a decent idea of the differences between glass and metal baking pans and which one would be best for you to purchase.
Select based on the dish you intend to prepare, and you will make the correct decision.
Additional cooking pans articles you may be interested in:
- What Are the Different Types of Baking Pans? All you need to know
- Can You Put a Baking Pan on the Grill?
- Shallow Baking Pan Vs Deep Baking Pan
- How to Remove Cheesecake from a Springform Pan?
- How to Keep Baking Pans from Rusting?
- How much Batter to Use for Cake Pans?
- Bundt Pan vs. Loaf Pan
- Baking Pan vs. Baking Sheet – What’s the Difference?